Couscous & fish in a bag

Couscous & fish in a bag

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(20 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 20 mins - 25 mins


Serves 1
Boost your iron intake with this simple healthy recipe

Nutrition and extra info

  • Easily doubled
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal552
  • fat20g
  • saturates23g
  • carbs57g
  • sugars6g
  • fibre2.1g
  • protein41g
  • salt0.46g
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  • 1 lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 100g couscous



    Consisting of many tiny granules made from steamed and dried durum wheat, couscous has become a…

  • 25g pine nut, toasted
  • 1 small courgette, thinly sliced



    The courgette is a variety of cucurtbit, which means it's from the same family as cucumber,…

  • small handful dill, leaves only, chopped
  • 150ml strong vegetable stock
  • 1 haddock, or other white fish fillet



    A white-fleshed salt water fish often compared with cod in flavour and texture. Found on the…


  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Fold a large sheet of foil or baking paper in half and tightly fold one side to seal. Grate the lemon zest and mix with the couscous, pine nuts, courgette and dill. Season well, then tip into the open ‘bag’. Cut the lemon in half, then cut 2 thin slices from one half. Juice the other half and add the juice to the stock.

  2. Lay the haddock on top of the couscous, top with the lemon slices, then carefully pour over the lemony stock. Fold the remaining open sides tightly. Bake for 20-25 mins, depending on how thick your fish is, until the fish is cooked and couscous is fluffy.

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Comments (26)

BashyBoop's picture

I found everything cooked perfectly....although i did make sure that the water got to all the cous cous. I put the cous cous in the bag first, then poured on the stock and gave it a little mix, then the courgettes and then the fish.

I didn't find it too lemony like some people thought, i think it needs that much lemon otherwise it would be bland.

I do agree that the recipe states far too much cous cous for one person, i personally do 50g for one person and find that's plenty. I still used about 150ml liquid even though i only used 50g cous cous, but found this was perfect....maybe if you used less it would be a little dry.

Not sure if this recipe is easier than cooking the cous cous separately, but i would do it again.

lizziegu81's picture

I tried this with bulgar wheat and used river cobbler, a cheap but unknown fish to me. Delicious!

mscupcake's picture

My original concern that this may not be tasty enough seems to be borne out by most comments. Think some roasted tomato would go nicely with it.
I have another similar recipe with salmon and couscous (one of my favs) which does soak the couscous first so this is what I would do here.
The nutritional info must be wrong: pine nuts have a total of 68 g fat per 100g - making this dish around 17, 1/12 of which is saturated - so about 1g or so. No other ingredient has any fat in it which makes it a healthy dinner!

pewter's picture

Haddock, lemon juice (no rind or slices) Ainsley's couscous with lemon ( just put in foil with 150ml of water), plenty of black pepper serve with Sainsbury's Cauliflower Cheese (Taste the Difference) - was an absolute great mid week meal.Pine nuts & dill essential.

colec1's picture

Easy to do and adapt to personal tastes. A welcome addition to my binder

chickin66's picture

Really liked this dish but it was VERY fiddly to get all the liquid into the foil bag. Will try it with salmon next time as others suggest. I didn't have enough lemon so only used half and it was fine. Phwiiii - I will try your suggestion with the pyrex bowl as some of the couscous didn't get any liquid and was a bit dry.

phwiiii's picture

I did this recipe but lined a pyrex bowl with tin foil and made the foil bag in thie bowl - this made sure that all the cous cous was in water - poured the stock on before putting the fish on aswell and the cous cous came out perfectly. I only did half the amount of cous cous and it was perfect. Added a splash of wine to the stock and added tyme and parsely as i dont like dill. It was very nice but FAR too lemony. I'd put at least half if not even less lemon in next time.

jeyrome's picture

Utterly disappointed!
The couscous around the fish was mush and the one underneath was dry, hard and so ingrained in the fish I had to throw the whole thing away broken-heartedly!
May try this again but will pour the stock over the couscous prior to laying the fish on top of it.

goldstraw's picture

how can it be healthy when it says theres 23 grams of saturated fat in it,but theres only 20 grams of fat,i think someones got it wrong,i made this meal and thers nowhere near that much fat in it,plus the meal was boring.

julsc17's picture

Ok, but far too much couscous

ameera7's picture

I must say I agree with Tony about the cooking method. My husband's from a Moroccan family and couscous is there national dish, they soak it for hours before cooking it and then steam it for a further hour, I've found if I've ever cooked couscous any other way it's dry or doesn't have the same fluffy texture.

vlaoverton's picture

I made this last night and used Salmon instead of Haddock which was lovely. I also added a little bit of the stock to the cous cous before placing the fish on top which I think you need to do to make sure it all gets soaked through. Although the dish was tasty I do think it would benefit from a little bit of roasted garlic perhaps and I also though it was a little dry and needs a dollop of crème fraiche or something to serve. A really quick, easy dish that I will make again but with a few little adjustments!

tony_collins2000's picture

The meal itself is delicious, but it's the wrong way to cook it. You end up with half the couscous drying out, or sticking to the foil etc.

I reckon this meal would be better if you first soaked the couscous in most of the liquid for a minute or two, then added it to the foil (baking paper is MUCH better for this). You won't have the fiddling about with the bag and you won't get the couscous being too thin in places and getting ruined.

Also, when it says "strong vegetable stock", don't overdo it. It can end up being really salty. Just follow the instructions for making the stock normally and you'll be fine.

freakyogre's picture

Not impressed. Too much couscous, too much courgette and far too much lemon! The fish cooked perfectly, but couldn't eat the rest of it as just too lemony.

littlemisslucky's picture

Quite tasty but I didn't think the cous cous really went very well with the fish.

richardpjames's picture

A nice easy dish, good for after a busy day if you need something quick. Didn't blow me away though.

I'd be tempted to try with fennel instead of the courgette and maybe add a splash of pernot.

mother_ship's picture

I made this with salmon, found it very tasty, even without the dill which I forgot to get, and the whole family enjoyed it, but I did find messing around with foil parcels a bit of a faff.

Harkle - I don't think it would work with brown rice as that takes ages to cook whereas the couscous only needs a brief soak.

harkle's picture

Does anyone know if this works with brown rice as well? Don't like the texture of cous cous.

firebrand's picture

I cooked this for 4 people, two with white fish and two with salmon. The salmon came out miles, miles, miles better! White fish easily gets overpowered by the other flavours.

sophoulina's picture

I liked this recipe. I have added carrots and cherry tomatoes in the cous cous and drizzled it with olive oil. Next time i will add some fennel as well.
Made it with salmon very tasty.


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